The Inspiration Mars team planning to send a couple on a fly-by mission to Mars in 2018 have an idea of how to protect the astronauts from cosmic rays on the long journey: pack the walls of the spaceship with food, shit, and piss. "Dehydrate (the human waste) as much as possible, because we need to get the water back," team member Taber MacCallum told New Scientist. "Those solid waste products get put into a bag, put right back against the wall… (Also,) food is going to be stored all around the walls of the spacecraft, because food is good radiation shielding." The food he adds, would block the cosmic rays but wouldn't become radioactive itself.
David Pescovitz is Boing Boing's co-editor/managing partner. He's also a research director at Institute for the Future. On Instagram, he's @pesco.